Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the UPA government of failing to construct a police memorial. He said this after dedicating the National Police Memorial (NPM) to the nation in recognition of the sacrifices made by police personnel since Independence.
PM Modi asked, “Why did it take 70 years after Independence to get the memorial into reality, why it took so long time even after 60 years of the Hot Spring day incident which is celebrated as Police Commemoration Day?”
Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21 every year in memory of the policemen killed at Hot Springs in Ladakh by Chinese troops on this date in 1959.
“A thought to dedicate a Police memorial to the country’s police force came up 25-26 years ago. The memorial also got approval by the then government. Atalji’s (former Prime Minister) government took the first step in turning the thought on the ground level and the then Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani laid the foundation stone of the museum in 2002,” Modi said.
“I know that the construction work got affected because of some legal problems but had the earlier government wanted or tried it by heart, the memorial would have been completed several years ago.”
“Earlier government allowed settling dust on the stone established by Advaniji,” said PM Modi in a veiled attack on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“When NDA government came to power in 2014, we passed the budget for it and the museum is today being dedicated to the nation,” said PM Modi.
The memorial, erected on 6.12 acres of land in city’s Chanakyapuri area, is built in the memory of 34,844 police personnel who have laid down their lives in the line of duty since 1947, with 424 losing their lives this year.
PM Modi said that Advani, who was also present on the occasion, was very proud on observing the inauguration of the memorial which according to him is not only the sign of peace and service but “shows the commitment of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which is dedicated to secure the country’s dignity and honour of those linked to nation-building.”
Commenting on UPA government in the context of several projects, including the NPM, PM Modi said the God might have chosen and liked him for doing good works.
“This is the way of doing any work by our government which has developed the working culture to complete the targets on time.”
Recalling the inauguration of Ambedkar National Centre in Delhi last year, PM Modi said the discussion over its construction was started in 1992 but the file was put on hold for two decades.
“We searched the file and inauguration of the centre was done after my government came to power,” he said.
“Like this, the construction of the National Memorial at Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s house at 26-Alipur Road was started when Atalji’s government was in power. After his government, the project stalled. Our government laid the foundation stone of the project when it came to power (in 2014) and I got the opportunity to inaugurate it in April this year. Now, these magnificent monuments are inspiring the world.”
PM Modi said, “A serious question rises on many occasions about what was the reason of showing negligence by the earlier governments towards those who sacrificed themselves for the country. This has never been the part of our tradition.”
“I am proud that we have succeeded in establishing that tradition in the last four years. The inauguration of National Police Memorial is part of that tradition.”
The Prime Minister also announced that he would inaugurate a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31 in Gujarat’s Kevadiya. Built at a cost of over Rs 2,300 crore, it will be the largest statue in the world with a height of 182 metres.
PM Modi suggested that the statue of every martyr of the country be placed at the school where they got education, the village from where they belonged. “The move will give a new motivation to the scholars of our country.”
The Prime Minister lauded the paramilitary forces and police personnel in successfully handling the elements which create unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, in Maoist-affected areas, and the northeast insurgency operations.
He also stressed preparing an atmosphere that whenever the police personnel, paramilitary, and army pass through anywhere an automatic feeling of respect for them fills the hearts of people.
“This police memorial, the statues of martyrs, their valour stories will take us forward in this direction.”
PM Modi announced an honour for the police personnel who provide first-hand help in a disaster like situation. He said, “It will be declared in the name of Subhas Chandra Bose on his birthday on January 23 every year.”
He also stressed that the police should be people friendly to control the crime graph.
(With agency inputs)